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Alcohol advertising impacts adolescent drinking: Study

Alcohol advertising impacts adolescent drinking: Study

30 September | 0 Comments | By Rachael

A number of adolescents have been found to engage in heavy drinking and alcohol abuse, rather than using marijuana or cigarettes, which proves that alcohol is still the most popular abusive substance among young adults, said a recent report published in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since adolescence is a critical period, it is important to identify the factors that trigger addiction to any substance at this age and to find adequate measures to mitigate the problem.

A recent study, published in the journal Addiction in September 2016, said that exposure to alcohol-related advertisements is linked to a significant rise in alcohol intake among adolescents. Though the study primarily focused on alcohol marketing in the European Union, it can be applicable to other countries, like the U.S., where alcoholism among the youth is a serious issue.

Need to restrict all types of alcohol marketing strategies

According to the scientists, when children are frequently exposed to alcohol-related ads, they get easily influenced by them and develop a particular drinking pattern over a period of time. The researchers enrolled over 9,000 adolescents, with an average age of 14 years, in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland. The results showed that alcohol ads aired on various media channels had a significant impact on the drinking habit of young adults.

Though the study may not be sufficient to establish a causal relationship between alcohol advertising and adolescent drinking behavior, it definitely pointed at the gravity of the situation and the need to put restrictions on all types of alcohol marketing. Moreover, putting restrictions only on TV ads may not be of much help as this deep-rooted problem can be eradicated only when alcohol industry’s total marketing scheme is evaluated by lawmakers and suitable restrictions are levied on the unscrupulous telecast.

Alcohol ads help zero in on brands to be consumed

Another recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs analyzed the relationship between kids’ exposure to alcohol ads and their increased inclination to consume the brands mentioned  in the ads. It was found that children who watched alcohol ads, showing nearly 61 brands, consumed 33 drinks per month, as compared to 14 drinks per month found in underage drinkers who were not exposed to such ads.

Moreover, the more the kids watched these ads on TV, the higher was their probability to choose the particular brand. In short, alcohol advertising not only determined the quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption among the children but also ensured the brand that they chose to drink.

Without giving much heed to the factors that influence drinking among youth, it is important to understand that alcohol is a hazardous substance that endangers lives of numerous adolescents in various ways, with motor vehicle crashes being the deadliest outcome of drinking problem in this age group.

Recovery and rehabilitation

The process of addiction treatment can be different at various treatment centers, but detoxification is the first step toward recovery. During detoxification, patients experience withdrawal symptoms and complain of uneasiness for which doctors combine a host of medications along with therapies to flush out the toxins accumulated in the body. Keeping in mind the risks involved during the detoxification process, it is always carried out under medical supervision.

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